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The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin

About the Author

Michele Elam

Michele Elam is the William Robertson Coe Professor, Director of Stanford University's interdisciplinary graduate program, Modern Thought and Literature (MTL), the Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Professor of English. Former Director of African & African American Studies, she is affiliated with the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Studies, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity and on the Director’s Council for the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school). 

Her scholarship and teaching in interdisciplinary humanities research spans literature...

Cambridge University Press
2015

This Companion offers fresh insight into the art and politics of James Baldwin, one of the most important writers and provocative cultural critics of the twentieth century. Black, gay, and gifted, he was hailed as a “spokesman for the race,” although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. Individual essays examine his classic novels and nonfiction as well as his work across lesser-examined domains: poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy, and artistic collaboration. In doing so, The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin captures the power and influence of his work during the civil rights era as well as his relevance in the “post-race” transnational twenty-first century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership, and country assume new urgency.